Sangli (Maharashtra), March 7 (IANS) In a pre-dawn swoop, a team of Maharashtra Police arrested Babasaheb Khidrapure, the absconding homoeopathic doctor who had carried out a spate of illegal abortions from Belgaum in neighbouring Karnataka, an official said here on Tuesday.
Khidrapure was brought to Mhaisal village in Sangli this afternoon and produced before a magistrate who remanded him to police custody till March 17.
Earlier, police had arrested Praveen Jamdade, 35, husband of pregnant Swati Jamdade, 26, who died after a forcible abortion was performed on her by Khidrapure on February 28.
Her death exposed the sensational racket involving illegal sex determination tests and abortions of female foetuses. Police recovered 19 such foetuses from a compound of Khidrapure’s private clinic, Bharati Hospital, which is around 10 kms from the two states’ borders.
A police raid at his hospital on Monday revealed incriminating documents, medical records of pregnancy tests and abortions besides a full-fledged operation theatre functioning from the basement of the hospital, Sangli Superintendent of Police Dattatraya Shinde told media persons.
“We had formed four teams to nab the accused, We scanned all possible hideouts in Sangli and finally traced him to the neighbouring state. We have collected sufficient incriminating evidences against him to register a fool-proof case and are investigating further from different angles,” Shinde added.
Khidrapure has been booked under various charges of the Indian Penal Code, the Medical termination of Pregnancy Act, the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and other laws.
The case came to light with the death, on the operation table, of Swati, a mother of two young girls who was against the abortion but forced by her husband who wanted a male child.
Suspecting foul play, her distraught parents demanded an autopsy and took the body to the Sangli Civil Hospital, even as Khidrapure fled the village.
The Maharashtra government on Monday ordered a probe into the shocking racket while Health Minister Deepak Sawant and Women & Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde are due to visit the district soon for a first-hand assessment.
Taking a strong view of the racket, Maharashtra State Women’s Commission Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar warned that this was a very serious matter and they would initiate the most stringent action against all the accused.